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to avoid my difficult sister-in-law even though we're putting her mum into care?

(67 Posts)
valdali Thu 06-Aug-20 17:06:03

I've been looking after my M-i-L for 4 years now, through losing my F-i-L, and helping when carers can't come, staying overnight etc. Now my M-i-L is going into care & we have to decide what to do with the house etc. My DH is a workaholic & its quicker to do what I can myself. My S-i-L is a loving daughter but v moody and she can upset both her mum & me. She hasnt been able to help for genuine family reasons. I am a cheerful person but got badly bullied at work a couple of years back (mobbing) When I finally saw the light & got out, it had had such a negative impact that I still get depressed periodically though low mood had never previously been a problem.My S-i-L has a bad effect on me if she happens to be in a nasty mood, should I avoid her? I feel she's entitled to know whats going on & it is her mum, but how much should I put my health on the line? I'm fairly sure I'm never snappy or curt with her, I treat her with kid gloves but she can still be pretty unpleasant on a bad day,

justwokeup Fri 07-Aug-20 13:09:22

It's a huge amount of work to pack up a house (voice of experience). Your kind nature should be directed at your MIL - let her decide what to take into the care home and help her move it. Then say to DH and SIL, your DM is sorted and I'm here to help with the house if you need me. Don't mention it again until they do. Unfortunately for them it's their DM and you actually have no rights, so they will need to step up.

Nagmad2016 Fri 07-Aug-20 13:32:50

I think it is time for a few choice words with SiL and point out that you are doing all you can, and if she would like to take some of the responsibility, you would be happy to share the workload. Be careful of being taken for granted. I cared for my mother for 20 months and had all of the platitudes, but very little help when it was needed. Caring is a very difficult task and you need to care for your own well-being too. Perhaps a word with DH wouldn't go amiss. Don't let her grind you down.

Jess20 Fri 07-Aug-20 14:00:41

My OHs relatives can be difficult. I also looked after MIL and OH was working flat out and not able to do much at times. However, it was his role to take on anything difficult or contentious, to manage any unpleasentness, rudeness etc and to ensure everytone remembered she was their mother not mine, so what I did was to be apreciated, not to be taken for granted, and that they behaved properly. Any less is deeply unfair on you!

JLauren Fri 07-Aug-20 14:12:44

You could avoid her but in the long run it might be easier to express your needs and set boundaries. I was a caregiver for 14 years and in hindsight I wish I had set boundaries about how I should be treated. There are some books about how to be assertive- and even online courses these days. I hope it gets better for you.

OurKid1 Fri 07-Aug-20 14:14:08

You sound like a very kind person (maybe a little bit too kind for your own good?), so I'd continue to do what you do for your MIL. If the SIL gets awkward and upsets you, say something along the lines of "Don't talk to me like that," then walk away rather than get into a row discussion with her.
I also had an issue with bullying at work (a female boss with mental health issues, which she took out on me) and that usually worked. It made me feel as if I was doing 'something' and usually kept my upset to a minimum for the time being. She didn't change, but the moment when she upset me was then gone - temporarily, but it helped the immediate situation. Good luck. xx

Daftbag1 Fri 07-Aug-20 15:36:21

I completely understand where you are coming from.

If your sister is on face book, why don't you pm her, if you start to feel pressured, just take a break from her she won't be able to message you that way or write to her and tell her that there's so much going on that you'd prefer written communications. If you don't like the response just tear it up and into the bin it goes.

Madgran77 Fri 07-Aug-20 16:08:01

valdali Your original query was about how to deal with your SIL so...

Can I ask, how do you respond to her now when she is "happens to be in a nasty mood"?

I would suggest that as soon as you get an inkling of nastiness you state clearly "I am not going to listen to/tolerate/put up with/respond to...(whatever the nastiness is)" So we can discuss this when I don't have to!" And then leave!!

I suspect that she will soon realise she can't take you for granted anymore!

Lindsey Fri 07-Aug-20 16:21:36

My son and DL have been trying to start a family for a while. They have just got the results back to say that they can't. The only option is IVF which is 60% chance of working and costs £10000. They live in Spain but are not Spanish so no NHS. My DL is nearly 40 so time is running out. I am so sorry for them but dont know how to help/ what to say. Adopting is out of the question because they are in rented accommodation and Covid has destroyed my sons livelihood. I already have 3 grandkids so my sadness is for them not me. Any ideas on how to console them?

Azalea99 Fri 07-Aug-20 16:55:39

I had POA for my mother-in-law. It made no difference in the end. One of her sons stole everything of value (mainly cash) from her house, DH had no interest in looking for a suitable care home but SIL flew over from USA to make the arrangements - purely in order to be able to boast about how much she’d done - and the home only wanted my signature when they realised I held the purse strings. They used to be a close and loving family but now I have nothing to do with them. Don’t envy you at all, but if you don’t face up to your SIL you’ll be the loser. DH won’t be working forever - he’s your other half & you know how best to handle him. I think you should carry on helping MIL but have some seriously strong, even disgusting, things ready to say to SIL if she plays up. I’m serious. She’s been getting away with this for too long and needs a good (proverbial) slap. Also, call her mental state into question while you’re at it.

Milliemabel Fri 07-Aug-20 17:40:42

Valdali - My heart goes out to you as I too have been mobbed in the Workplace. It is proving to be the most horrific thing I have been through, and I have had my fair share of bad events. I have PTSD as a result of what they did. I had been there 14 years and a new department manager was appointed. Within 2 years I was Targeted by her. She somehow managed to turn management against me and acquired 2 other women to help her with the covert psychological attack. If it wasn't such a tragic situation, it would have appeared farcical with all the unbelievable lies they told.
Management closed ranks with Governors and HR. I wasn't in a union and didn't have adequate support. I defended myself which must have made them think all their Christmases had arrived at once.
Anyway, my life needs rebuilding and I know I have an incredibly long journey ahead of me. I wish you very best wishes for the future. Any tips you have for life after Mobbing would be warmly received.

Athenia Fri 07-Aug-20 17:49:37

Dear Valdali,

You have a lot on your plate. Would it help you to ask whose responsibility is this in your situation?
Sometimes we walk in and take responsibility for what isn't actually ours.
Secondly, going back to your depression. It is highly likely that you are suffering from a form of PTSD. It would benefit you to see a trauma counsellor to work out where the depression is coming from.

I wish you well in your situation and really hope that you can find a more satisfactory way through, without having to deal with other people's disrespectful behaviour.

I was married to a narcissist for many years and even after divorcing him suffered from depressive episodes for six months of every year until very recently.

It has taken me until a month ago to be able to put the phone down on him when he was telling me that he considered what I said to be "a load of old bollocks'.
A psychotherapist has advised me to work with a trauma specialist if I need more support, and I now begin to realise after many years the consequences of living with this abusive man and the toll it has taken on my life.

I hope that you are able to resolve your situation and find a less stressful way through.

Madgran77 Fri 07-Aug-20 17:50:34

Lindsey I think you need to start a new thread …

grandtanteJE65 Fri 07-Aug-20 18:26:23

You can't avoid your sister-in-law, as it is her mother we are talking about her.

You can, however, limit personal contact by e-mailing her about things.

You can and should tell your husband that it is his mother and his sister, so he can't just shrug it all onto your shoulders.

In your place, I would tell him what has been decided or is to be decided and insist that he rings his sister to discuss it with her.

jenpax Fri 07-Aug-20 19:45:38

Lindsey I think you need to start a separate Thread for your question

welbeck Fri 07-Aug-20 19:46:22

you delegate tasks concerning his mother to him.
just think about that. could there be a wider problem here.
you are colluding in your own mistreatment.
you were bullied at work.
and are put upon at home.
and blame it all on SIL.
that's convenient. esp for OH.
please value your life, and health. no one else will bother.

GoldenAge Fri 07-Aug-20 23:17:08

valdali you don't need to pussy-foot around your sil. At the same time you don't need to take on co-ordination responsibility because your OH is a workaholic. You have been bullied so are likely to be unassertive. This is something you would have likely developed had you given yourself a little bit of care and sought counselling to help you through the bullying. My advice would be to tell it straight to your sil and do the same thing with your OH - preferably if you can get them both in the same room at the same time and frankly as it's about their mother's future and ability to fund a care home via the sale of her house, that should be something you can insist on. You need to stand up for your own time and and energy. If you're prepared to do the admin, etc., they must be prepared to respond to you in a timely and constructive fashion and you should tell them that.